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[personal profile] branquignole
Ha! You probably didn't think this post would ever be written, but here I am, proving all of you wrong! Way back (in April, actually) I wrote this paper about what I called "demancipation in literature", by way of which I wanted to prove that there was a kind of regression in female emancipation and that we are living in a rape culture, and that this would become apparent in comparing a 19th century novel - Jane Eyre - with a 21st century novel - Hush, Hush.

The writing of this paper was a series of ups and downs. I was really committed to the task and I absolutely wanted to get it right. The paper is roughly twelve pages which I wrote in a little less than two weeks (which seems to be an unusually short amount of time, but I think all of my classmates were just dawdling) with the minimum possible amount of outlining. I had to turn in an outline to my tutor, and that was all the outlining I did. I had pretty much everything laid out in my head anyway, since I'd been thinking about writing this paper ever since I first read Hush, Hush in November of last year, and I'd been mulling it over for months. Plus the secondary sources I used were fantastic, and the best one was probably Transforming a Rape Culture by Emily Buchwald et al. which contains several great essays about post-feminism and about what rape culture means for women and for society. Still, I sometimes (which means several times each day) reached a point where I would wander through the house, lost and forlorn, tearing out my hair, and muttering under my breath, "I can't do this, how am I supposed to ever finish this, this is all a bunch of crap (etc etc)". It was the worst before I had to wrap the paper up, because I had no idea how to go about it, had totally lost all inspiration and motivation - and then I went out. In shorts. It was rather late, and I walked about town with two friends of mine. We got to a place where people obviously like to get drunk at certain hours of the night, and then we decided to veer around them because we were scared. I didn't want to put up with anything they'd have to say about the amount of leg I was showing, or maybe even with drunken advances. And then I got home and realised, "this is it. This. This is rape culture, and it sucks."

This gave me a burst of angry and bitter motivation, so I wrapped up the paper and sent it to [livejournal.com profile] hanelissar for proofreading, who deserves all of my love and gratefulness forever and ever. <3 When she asked me what kind of proofreading I wanted her to do (SpaG, proofing the content etc), I basically said, "UM, ALL OF THE PROOFREADING PLS?" and she said "sure" without batting an eye. Her notes and corrections were extremely helpful, and the paper could never have been as good as it is now without her help.

And then came the part I dreaded the most, which was a talk in front of my class to present my paper. I honestly can't tell you how it went or even most of what I said - I know the gist of it, but I was so out of it with anxiety symptoms and panic (ah, public speaking) that I totally blacked out. I still remember how I was talking about Nora's and Patch's abusive relationship (in Hush, Hush) and about how helpless Nora is in the face of this abuse because people are not taking her seriously, about how it is perfectly okay for Patch to act this way because he is the designated love interest. So I basically established that Nora lives in an environment that enables Patch to abuse her, to threaten and to hurt her without any consequences, and then my teacher said, wait for it-

"But why is it that we could possibly argue that this abuse is also kind of Nora's fault?"

I KNOW. I was like, "were you listening to me at all these past twenty minutes? HAVEN'T YOU READ THE FUCKING PAPER WHERE I SPENT SEVERAL PAGES DETAILING HOW THIS IS ALL BUT NORA'S FAULT?"

I think that this is what cost me one point in the end, that I was not willing to budge from my viewpoint that this was not Nora's fault, that yes, maybe she could have told someone more insistently about this, maybe she could have sought help, but if a girl tells a guy to stop and the guy doesn't, it's really not the girl's fault. My evaluation also says that I was sometimes being a bit too polemic, but maybe I was just being a bit too feminist? A bit too disapproving of Patch's abusive behaviour? I don't know. But I got fourteen out of fifteen points in the end, which is pretty awesomesauce. I'm totally happy with that and incredibly proud of myself for achieving this the first time I wrote such a long paper, especially since the paper pretty much turned out as I wanted it to. Still, as I said- it would not be the same without Han's help, so everybody give her round of heartfelt applause. Thank you, Han. <3

Also, if anybody would like to read the paper (From Emancipation to Demancipation? - A Contrasting Analysis of the Portrayal of Women in Jane Eyre and Hush, Hush), just drop me a note and I'm happy to provide!

I'm sorry if this post is a bit rambly, it's late and I probably should have gone to bed instead of writing this, since school starts again tomorrow, but I wanted to get this done before the next school year starts, so. :D

* Han and Lal were talking about Hush, Hush on twitter earlier, which turned out like this...

HAN: AND ANYTHING THAT HATES ON HUSH WINS AWESOME POINTS AS WELL
HAN: HUSH, HUSH. NOT JUST HUSH. THOUGH I WISH IT WOULD JUST HUSH.
LAL: SO MUCH HATRED FOR HUSH WHY DON'T YOU JUST HUSH.

(Shut up, all capslocks conversations are awesome. But you see, this was too good for me to pass up.)

Date: 2011-08-08 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catherinehaines.livejournal.com
UGH at the teacher, but HOORAY for you!

I'd actually like to read it, if you don't mind. :)

Date: 2011-08-08 04:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
Sure, pm me your email address and I'll send to you? (: And thanks!

Date: 2011-08-08 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cabepfir.livejournal.com
I'd like to read it, if it's in English. I don't know anything about Hush, hush but it sounds really interesting - I mean, the analysis.

Date: 2011-08-08 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
It is in English! If you will pm me your email address, I'll send it to you.

Date: 2011-08-08 07:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weatherfront.livejournal.com
Ooh, I haven't read Hush, Hush -- only heard of its renown, er -- but I'd love to see what you've written! *____* The teacher's recursive internalization of rape culture is indeed more than a little frustrating (not every issue is worth being argued from both sides equally, thank you...) but YOU DID GOOD, FRAN! YOU KEPT YOUR HEAD HIGH.

Date: 2011-08-08 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY IT IS NOT A BOOK YOU WANT TO READ. It's horrible on so many levels. D:

It was incredibly frustrating my teacher said since I really like her a lot and I know she probably didn't realise how that came across. There was this other instance though when there was word about the school about the possibility of establishing a dress code, and my teacher said she supposed it was mostly because of young girls being so scantily clad, and that they didn't realise what signals they were sending out, and that was the kind of thing that leads to being molested in the park etc etc, and I was all but ~fuming with rage. UGH.

OKAY THEN. I SHALL ATTACH THE PAPER TO MY NEXT EMAIL ABOT SMURF PORN. :DD

Date: 2011-08-08 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paperflower86.livejournal.com
Congrats on finishing your paper and arguing your view point. And I'm side eying your teacher so hard right now :/

Date: 2011-08-08 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
Thank you! <333 The side eying is much appreciated!

Date: 2011-08-08 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanelissar.livejournal.com
OMG PEOPLE YES ALL REQUEST TO READ THIS PAPER, IT'S AMAZING AND FABULOUS AND SMART AND SENSIBLE AND BALANCED AND BRILLIANT AND I LOVE THE HELL OUT OF IT <3

And you remain incredibly welcome for the literally TINY bit of proofreading I had to do on that paper, it was so many ridiculous levels of awesome when you sent it over I basically did nothing. But thank you for being just the loveliest!

Also lol at Lal and my twitter conversation. Oh the win that can come from failing to write a sentence properly... XD

(Also also (oh two alsos,Han this is such a poorly constructed comment!) I don't think you'd told me that about your teacher before. Oh my god did she just not pay any attention to what you had said or written?! That right there is rape culture so spectacularly internalized she doesn't even see it. I'm sorry you had her as your teacher for that, a more awesome teacher up to knowledge about this stuff would have given you a hundred percent I'm sure. But 14/15 is still BEYOND awesome and I hope you're fabulously proud. :D)

I LOVE YOU YOU FABULOUS FEMINIST YOU
xxxx

Date: 2011-08-08 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
OH HI PERSON MUCH PRAISED IN THIS ENTRY! <3 You may repeat that you didn't do a lot all you like, it won't keep me from loving you with the passion of a thousand fiery suns!

I read that conversation with joy (um, and also unadulterated hatred for Hush, Hush, but that goes without saying). It clearly wins a lot of awesome points! \o/

I didn't! I only remembered recently (though it remains a mystery to me how I could have forgotten that), else I would have told you in London and we could have raged together, raining down our wrath on my teacher etc etc, the good stuff, you know. But you are perfectly right, 14/15 is fantastic and I'm so so happy with this mark, since it adds 28 points to my Abitur qualification after all and OMG IT STILL HAS ME SUPER EXCITED.

I LOVE YOU TOO. YOU ARE A FABULOUS PERSON YOURSELF.
xxx

Date: 2011-08-08 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanelissar.livejournal.com
Well I shall love you also with the passion of a thousand fiery suns and that will be awesome, although we should probably be careful to not burn the universe with the BURNING POWER OF OUR LOVE or something. XD

And next time we meet up (which will be AT SOME POINT NOT TOO HORRIBLY FAR AWAY Y/Y?) we shall rain down our wrath upon her. :D And also squee and flail and eat cake.

LOVE YOU Xxxxx

Date: 2011-08-08 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pigrescuer.livejournal.com
I'd like to read it! I think I said this already :D

It is possible the teacher might have just needed to ask you a question to check your arguing skillz?

Date: 2011-08-08 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
You did! I'll send it to you in a sec. (OR IN A SEX REALLY. Ah, typos. :D)

Technically, yes! She actually enjoys prodding people a lot, and when she first asked, I thought that was her intent (and it probably was; partly at least), but then I said I didn't think so because... And then she repeated the question, and I said, well, maybe Nora could have sought help a little more actively, BUT NO ONE WAS TAKING HER SERIOUSLY OKAY? But IDK. I know that she probably didn't mean to be super misogynistic, but the question did not feel like it was exclusively aimed at testing my arguing skillz. ):

Date: 2011-08-08 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jibrailis.livejournal.com
I can't believe your teacher said that. That is so frustrating, ugh ugh, but your paper sounds like it rocks (I remember you mentioning it before, and I've been curious to read it since). You did good work there.

Date: 2011-08-08 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
Me neither. ): But I think I was still comparatively lucky having her as a tutor, as she was rather supportive overall (and also she gave me 14 out of 15 points, that's something right there! :D), but this was just... ugh.

Sure, shoot me your email address via pm and I'll send it to you! (Even though having all of you fabulous writer people read my paper is making me kind of nervous, haha.)

Date: 2011-08-10 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leaf-collector.livejournal.com
this is fascinating! I would love to read it, if I could email: nifty_cool@hotmail.com
Once I read it, I'll have more definitive comments lol. ;)

Date: 2011-08-10 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] branquignole.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'll send it over in a second. (:

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